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*** UPDATED x4 *** Rep. Grant: “These comments do not reflect my heart or my faith”

Monday, Sep 21, 2020

* Media advisory…

State Reps. Will Davis, Camille Lilly, Greg Harris and Emanuel Chris Welch will present evidence of racist and homophobic statements made by a member of the General Assembly at a virtual press conference on Monday, Sept. 21 at 10 a.m. The offensive statements were recorded and will be released to the public during this event.

Rep. Amy Grant (R-Wheaton) is the subject of the recording. She speaks in the call about her opponent, Democrat Ken Mejia-Beal, who is a gay, Black Democrat. This was supposedly a fundraising call. Click here for what the House Dems say is evidence that Rep. Grant knew she was being recorded, although she is not heard giving permission. “To her recollection, Rep Grant did not give permission to be recorded,” said a House Republican spokesperson. However, the Democrats also claimed that there is little to no expectation of privacy for a legislator or a candidate.

* Grant excerpt

I mean he’s just another one of the Cook County people. That’s all you’re gonna vote for is Cook County, another, ya know, Black Caucus, that’s all we need is another person in the Black Caucus. Yeah, so anyhow. And I’m all for, ya know, I work across the aisle and Will Davis is a buddy of mine and he’s in leadership and I am a friend of his and he respects me.

* Another Grant excerpt

GRANT: Well, I think he’s afraid to come into the district actually, into the heart of the district anyhow.

CALLER: Why? Why do you think so? Why do you think he’s afraid? I’m just curious.

GRANT: I just think that maybe he’s afraid of the reaction that people might give him. Not because he’s Black, but because of the way he talks. He’s all LGBTQ. He wants to work for the chronically ill. He just gives us like crazy, and every week it’s a different reason for why he wants to get into the race.

The Democrats said they wouldn’t release the entire recording because of issues with personal identification. “She talks about other people, is disparaging of other people,” Rep. Welch said, adding “I just thought that it wasn’t our place to reveal the entire call.”

* From Rep. Grant

I deeply regret the comments I made about Ken Mejia-Beal, and reached out to apologize to him this morning. These comments do not reflect my heart or my faith.

* I asked the Democrats about the apology and Rep. Welch said this…

We have to question her questioning an opponent talking about the chronically ill. If you’re living with diabetes, you’re living with high blood pressure, you have pancreatic cancer like Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and you fought, you’re fighting like a champion like she did. Rep. Amy Grant has a problem with you speaking for the chronically ill. We heard that on that tape. Do we want someone like that in the Illinois legislature? This call questions her character and is completely inconsistent with her apology that she makes now, because she was caught on tape. But what’s she saying when she’s not on tape?

* I followed up with Welch and asked if this rose to the level of conduct unbecoming a legislator, since Welch chairs the committee that’s considering whether to punish House Speaker Michael Madigan for that very thing…

I think people should listen to that tape and listen to it repeatedly, and that’s a question for everyone to ask themselves. I think Leader Durkin should ask himself that question. I think Rep. Mazzochi [a fellow investigative committee member] should ask herself that question, Grant Wehrli [another investigative committee member] should ask himself that question, and honestl, answer that question because listen to the tape, she has a problem with Blacks, LGBTQ people, and the chronically ill. And so, I’ll let others answer that question for you, Rich.

“Release the tapes,” said House GOP spokesperson Eleni Demertzis this morning.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Press release…

On a recorded fundraising call, Rep. Amy Grant (R-Wheaton) made racist and homophobic remarks aimed at her Democratic challenger, Ken Mejia-Beal, a Black gay man. We the undersigned members of the Illinois House LGBTQ Caucus condemn this hateful rhetoric in the strongest terms possible.

The LGBTQ Caucus believes this kind of hate speech has no place in Illinois, especially from an elected state representative. The fact that these comments were made when Rep. Grant knew the call was being recorded demonstrates the emboldening and normalization of racism and homophobia, a deeply troubling trend that we have witnessed during the Trump era. To criticize and ridicule someone for who they are and who they love is despicable and unacceptable.

People in our community have fought for decades against discrimination and to be represented in our government at every level. There are LGBTQ people in every town and village and every corner of our state. For Ms. Grant to talk about needing fewer members of the Black Caucus and fewer LGBTQ members is just wrong.

This is a stark reminder that we as elected officials must continue the fight for equality and inclusion in the face of hate.

SIGNED,

Majority Leader Greg Harris
Representative Kelly Cassidy
Representative Yoni Pizer
Representative Lamont Robinson
Representative Sam Yingling

*** UPDATE 2 *** Senator Laura Ellman…

“We’ve gone through so much this year, fear, anger, uncertainty, distrust, outrage. And now this. Grant’s racist, homophobic remarks, and her words on the chronically ill, knowing she was being recorded, not only show her small mind and her cold heart, but show how little she cares for the people she represents. We don’t have time for this, the stakes are too high. We need people with expansive minds and compassionate hearts who work hard in Springfield. We need Ken Mejia-Beal.”

*** UPDATE 3 *** Ken Mejia-Beal…

“I am a DuPage County resident. I’m a financial professional. I’m a husband. I’m an advocate for property tax relief, access to health care, and other issues I am passionate about. But in her hurtful, degrading, and wholly unacceptable comments which have now come to light, Representative Grant makes it clear that she sees only the color of my skin and my sexual orientation – and that in her mind disqualifies me as a leader and even disqualifies me as a member of our community.

“Nowhere in Representative Grant’s one-line public response or the phone message she left me reading that same message is any acknowledgement that the statements she made so matter-of-factly on those recordings were also a grievous insult to every member of our community. Where is Representative Grant’s apology to those who hear her comments and wonder if they fit into her vision of our community? Where is the apology to all whose faith calls them to love their neighbors as themselves? Where is her apology to all in our area who are sick of politicians dividing people with their rhetoric? And where is Representative Grant’s commitment to use the time she has remaining in office to finally represent all of our unique community?

“I am running because I know we are a stronger, better community than the one Representative Grant depicts in her hurtful words and extreme agenda – and the people I talk to in every part of our district know that too.”

*** UPDATE 4 *** Equality Illinois…

Equality Illinois condemns the racist and homophobic comments made by State Rep. Amy Grant against her challenger, Ken Mejia-Beal, a Black gay man.

In a phone call to a donor released today, Grant said: “He’s afraid of the reaction people might give him, not because he’s Black, but because of the way he talks. He’s all LGBTQ, he wants to work for the chronically ill…” We at Equality Illinois and in the LGBTQ community recognize this age-old homophobic attack against gay men. Grant also made a pointed racist remark by saying “all we need is another person in the Black Caucus.”

Even in the age of Trump, Illinoisans expect their elected officials to act with integrity and in accordance with Illinois values of equality and inclusion. Amy Grant fails even that basic test. She is clearly unable to represent all of her constituents with equal care and respect. Her apology is insufficient for an elected official in 2020.

Homophobia and bigotry must have no home in DuPage County or anywhere in Illinois. Grant must drop out of the election. If she does not, the voters of the Forty-Second District must reject her and send a message on Election Day that love trumps hate.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

59 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 11:03 am:

    ===“… ya know, Black Caucus, that’s all we need is another person in the Black Caucus.”===

    When someone tells you who they are, believe them.

    I dunno how else to read this… as someone not speaking from beliefs?


  2. - legalese - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 11:07 am:

    == “To her recollection, Rep Grant did not give permission to be recorded,” said a House Republican spokesperson. However, the Democrats also claimed that there is little to no expectation of privacy for a legislator or a candidate. ==

    In Illinois consent can be implied if the person continues a conversation after being instructed the call is being recorded.
    This is the GOP attempting to spook reporters so they won’t print an article about this. Grant has already admitted she said these things.

    == “Release the tapes,” said House GOP spokesperson Eleni Demertzis this morning.==

    Not sure how that helps her cause or why it even matters. She said what she said. She issued an apology so she knows she said it or presumes she said something derogatory. End of story.


  3. - JoanP - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 11:10 am:

    =He wants to work for the chronically ill.=

    Oh, the horror. I hope no one in her family suffers from a chronic illness.


  4. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 11:11 am:

    “He just gives us like crazy”
    Mejia-Beal give them what like crazy?

    “He wants to work for the chronically ill. ”
    And that’s a problem?


  5. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 11:12 am:

    When SSM vote occurred, the votes from the Republican side fell …

    4-62

    Four legislators voted in favor, SIXTY-TWO opposed.

    Now this;

    ===“He’s all LGBTQ.”===

    When you think about inclusion or acceptance, I dunno how the remarks are either, or could be taken as either.

    When someone tells you who they are, believe them.


  6. - Ok - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 11:12 am:

    I am SURE the House GOP wants the ENTIRE tape released…

    What, to get to the part where Rep. Grant says she has a gay friend? She already mentioned her black friend.


  7. - Jocko - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 11:16 am:

    Rep. Grant’s pledge reminds me of Kramer’s decision to stop talking.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQHGsUdG68U


  8. - NIU Grad - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 11:17 am:

    “Release the tapes,”

    It looks like Rod is advising HGOP this year.

    “These comments do not reflect my heart or my faith.”

    Translation - They just represent the things I say to get elected. Otherwise known as “being a Republican.”


  9. - Moe Berg - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 11:17 am:

    What’s in your heart and your faith is what you say and do when you think no one else is looking, Rep. Grant.


  10. - Big Jer - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 11:18 am:

    Looks like Rep. Amy Grant (R-Wheaton) is channeling her predecessor in the House, Jeanne Ives.


  11. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 11:18 am:

    Filled up the bigotry bingo card mighty fast. I love the ‘not another person in the black caucus’ followed by the typical I know and get along with a black person. Then the apology that has to mention your faith. Every sickening statement a politician makes, they need to remind me that we are of the same faith. I’d prefer just to pretend that we aren’t.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 11:19 am:

    === I deeply regret the comments I made about Ken Mejia-Beal, and reached out to apologize to him this morning. These comments do not reflect my heart or my faith.===

    Hmm.

    “I did it. I was wrong. I’m sorry.”

    What does this even mean;

    ===These comments do not reflect my heart or my faith.===

    Who speaks or says things, contrary to their heart, purposely, on race and sexual orientation?


  13. - Trapped in the ‘burbs - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 11:23 am:

    Sadly, this is where we are. There are people in this country that prefer Russians to Americans that are Democrats. This will not hurt her with many of her constituents. Racism, anti gay, misogyny and other prejudices are embraced by many Americans. Looking forward to us embracing our similarities instead of hating each other due to fear. Vote.


  14. - Gooner - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 11:24 am:

    This kind of apology just boggles me.
    She said it.
    Nobody forced her.
    Yes, it represents her heart and her faith, given that she said the words.


  15. - DownStater - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 11:29 am:

    Spot on, Moe Berg


  16. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 11:38 am:

    Grant should resign immediately.


  17. - Froganon - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 11:39 am:

    Actually, her comments reflect her heart and her faith as well as her character. They also represent the hearts, faith and character (s) of those who will vote for her. The hypocrisy of her “clarification” ties it all up with ribbons and bows for them


  18. - Frumpy White Guy - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 11:43 am:

    Perhaps Amy Grant should change her name to Karen.


  19. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 11:44 am:

    ===These comments do not reflect my heart or my faith===

    Yes, they do.

    I’ve lost count of how many people in this specific quote unquote faith have had to make public apologies just like this when they get caught saying things exactly like this out loud.

    Why are we even pretending otherwise anymore?

    There is a private school near me that is covering up their covid infected students so they can remain open.

    This IS their faith.


  20. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 11:46 am:

    “That’s not who I am” is not an apology.

    “I think there are enough Black people in the General Assembly” deserves an apology not just to her opponent.

    An apology has for parts:

    1. Exactly what you did wrong.
    2. The harm you caused to others.
    3. Ownership of responsibility.
    4. Act of amends/steps to be taken to keep it from happening again.

    Keep in mind this was a fundraising call, not some casual chit-chat with an uninformed voter. This is Rep Grant making her sales pitch to a donor for how she can win and why she will win. She is not only racist and homophobic, she is arguing her district is racist and homophobic.


  21. - Scott Cross for President - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 11:52 am:

    “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.”

    - James 3:13 -


  22. - ILPundit - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 11:53 am:

    Rep. Grant’s apology is weak sauce. She talked about more than her opponent, yet she only directs the apology at him personally, not the broader groups that she slandered. Totally insufficient.

    That said, I also think its weird the Dems are only releasing excerpts. I don’t know what we aren’t hearing, but as a rule, I tend to be suspicious of selected excerpts. I’d like to know the full context and any other remarks that were made.


  23. - Frank talks - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 11:58 am:

    Are you sure they didn’t say - Smithers, release the hounds?


  24. - Melido Perez - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 12:06 pm:

    “He wants to work for the chronically ill”

    Isn’t that why people want this job? To help those less fortunate?


  25. - Karl hungus - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 12:11 pm:

    Sounds like jb on that call with blago.


  26. - zatoichi - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 12:13 pm:

    If “these comments do not reflect my heart or my faith” what do “these comments” reflect?


  27. - srboisvert - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 12:13 pm:

    “These comments do not reflect my heart or my faith.”

    So the argument is that she was pandering to her funders then? Is it the heart and faith of the people she was trying to get money from? Or was the behavior just a random spirit possession?


  28. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 12:17 pm:

    Awful person being awful, only this time she got caught.


  29. - Jax - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 12:23 pm:

    This woman thinks that her district is only the rich & white people of Wheaton. She has clearly shown she does not represent all of District 42. She needs to step down now.


  30. - The Way I See It - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 12:25 pm:

    Is chronically ill the new Republican code for HIV positive?


  31. - Pundent - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 12:25 pm:

    =These comments do not reflect my heart or my faith.=

    Okay, what do they reflect? Am I to take this to mean that Amy Grant doesn’t actually feel this way but she wants to get the vote of anyone that does? At least Jeanne Ives owned her vitriol and didn’t make apologies for it.


  32. - Politix - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 12:32 pm:

    “Release the tapes.”

    Rep. Grant has admitted to saying what she said. Why do we need to hear more before the GOP will comment?

    Terribly weak diversion tactic.


  33. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 12:40 pm:

    While outrage over these comments is to be expected here at Capfax, why in the world do any of you think this will make a difference in that district? This is Wheaton, for Pete’s sake. This is the town that elected Jeanne Ives to both city council and the state legislature. Of course Eleni wants the tapes released - it will actually gain Grant more votes there. You folks keep expecting things like decency and morals from republican politicians, you’re only wasting your time and your energy.


  34. - Pundent - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 12:47 pm:

    =why in the world do any of you think this will make a difference in that district=

    I doubt that it will. But it punctuates a problem for the Republican party outside of those narrow slivers where this type of rhetoric is embraced. Does the ILGOP really want to be known as the party that stands in opposition to masks, the LGBTQ community, black caucus, and the critically ill? I’m sure that Welch and his fellow Dems have no illusions of winning this district. But when you’re getting daily questions on Mike Madigan and this gift falls in your lap you use it.


  35. - Lunchbox - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 12:54 pm:

    Absurd. I know the state party doesn’t need it and I’m sure they’ll be in with cash very soon but since it’s the 42nd district and we’re just about 42 days from the election, I kicked in $42 Ken’s way. I wonder if/when the Daily Herald will pull their Amy Grant endorsement.


  36. - don the legend - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 12:58 pm:

    I thought Amy grant was popular singer of Christian music. She won’t like her namesake being so mean.


  37. - low level - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 1:08 pm:

    Eleni Demertzis - “release the tapes” Seriously? You need to do better than that.

    It sounds like the Dems could have inflicted more damage had they done that.


  38. - Graybeard - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 1:09 pm:

    So she’s telling donors that when she speaks to them, her words do not reflect her heart or her faith. Got it.


  39. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 1:09 pm:

    “It looks like Rod is advising HGOP this year.”

    Was going to say sounds like the version of Pate Philip in the March 1993 Illinois Issues … /s


  40. - Centennial - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 1:28 pm:

    “Release the tapes,”

    Are they trying to be funny? Your member just said “just what we need, another member of the black caucas” and you guys are making Rod jokes? It boggles my mind the stuff these people skate on.


  41. - Spfld - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 2:00 pm:

    Yikes! Gonna be awkward the next time Amy runs into her good buddy Will Davis.


  42. - Nagidam - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 2:18 pm:

    The focus on the recording in my opinion should be on her statement “we don’t need another person from the Black caucus.” That is who she is and does reflect her heart and faith. That statement says this District doesn’t need more black people and what she thinks they stand for. The remarks about her opponent are measured to discuss him and and what she thinks he stands for. The comment about the Black Caucus is her to her core in my mind as it looks like she said it so casually.


  43. - CubsFan16 - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 2:39 pm:

    Candidate in a Top Tier Race 101: Always assume there’s a microphone. She’s clearly trying to attack her opponent as being “far-left” and somehow couldn’t get those words out, and instead the words above came out, which is a big oops. Do better Rep. Grant.


  44. - @misterjayem - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 2:49 pm:

    “These comments do not reflect my heart or my faith.” — Amy Grant

    “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” — John Wooden

    – MrJM


  45. - Estubborn - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 3:12 pm:

    Rep. Grant is sick but she’s going to pick up a few votes in Wheaton. Bet


  46. - Pundent - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 4:03 pm:

    =Rep. Grant is sick but she’s going to pick up a few votes in Wheaton. Bet=

    Like her predecessor I suspect that those in agreement with what Grant was caught saying on tape were probably in her camp to begin with. So it probably doesn’t move the needle much in her direction. This is more about characterizing the ILGOP as being out of touch with suburban voters. And I’m not sure what the logic is in demonizing the critically ill during a pandemic.


  47. - OneMan - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 4:06 pm:

    === I deeply regret the comments I made about Ken Mejia-Beal, and reached out to apologize to him this morning. These comments do not reflect my heart or my faith.===

    I’m gonna call malarky on that. This comes from someplace, criticizing someone for concern about the ‘cronically ill’ comes from someplace, it may what your faith is telling you, but it sure is what your heart is telling you.


  48. - This Just In - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 4:30 pm:

    =You folks keep expecting things like decency and morals from republican politicians, you’re only wasting your time and your energy.=

    Rep. Grant’s comments are reprehensible and deserve to be called out and will hopefully add to the reasons to vote for her opponent.

    Suggesting that all Republican politicians lack decency and morals is very significantly over the top and simply not true. This type of stereotyping is fodder for the circular file along with Rep. Grant’s absurd comments.


  49. - thechampaignlife - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 4:37 pm:

    ===reached out to apologize to him this morning===

    ===Representative Grant’s one-line public response or the phone message she left me reading that same message===

    A one-line voicemail copypasta was all she could muster? Yikes.


  50. - Monique - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 4:42 pm:

    It’s weird that he doesn’t get her consent to record, there’s just a robot voice saying it may be recorded before they get on the phone. I wonder if there’s a wiretapping charge here.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illinois_wiretapping_law


  51. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 4:45 pm:

    That’s not an apology.

    It is a textbook non-apology.

    There are books about apologizing, and this is the opposite.


  52. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 4:47 pm:

    === Where is Representative Grant’s apology to those who hear her comments and wonder if they fit into her vision of our community? Where is the apology to all whose faith calls them to love their neighbors as themselves? Where is her apology to all in our area who are sick of politicians dividing people with their rhetoric? And where is Representative Grant’s commitment to use the time she has remaining in office to finally represent all of our unique community?===

    This is a take down of someone who decided that a half-baked apology that talks of her heart and how it has effected her, there‘s little (there‘s none) to Grant’s statement that is reflective of what her words mean beyond what they did… to her.

    This response is how you shred a terrible attempt to defuse such horrible thoughts spoken aloud.


  53. - OneMan - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 4:48 pm:

    == It’s weird that he doesn’t get her consent to record, there’s just a robot voice saying it may be recorded before they get on the phone. I wonder if there’s a wiretapping charge here. ==

    Then every single telemarketing call I get, every call I get from a fundraiser, etc is breaking the law.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess someone talked to a lawyer about this.


  54. - @misterjayem - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 4:57 pm:

    “I wonder if there’s a wiretapping charge here.”

    The Illinois wiretap law prohibits recording conversations “in a surreptitious manner.” https://ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=098-1142

    Surreptitious is a synonym for “covert” or “secret.” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/surreptitious

    When someone is told that something is taking place, in this case a recording, that thing is not happening covertly or in secret.

    If someone is told that a call is going to be recorded and they do not wish to be recorded, they can easily preserve their privacy by simply ending the phone call.

    – MrJM


  55. - JoanP - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 4:59 pm:

    = wonder if there’s a wiretapping charge here.=

    No, there’s not. To constitute a violation of the eavesdropping statute, the recording must be done “in a surreptitious manner”. Once it’s announced that the recording is being made, it’s not “surreptitious”.


  56. - Huh? - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 6:27 pm:

    “These comments do not reflect my heart or my faith.”

    What is in you heart or religious faith is known only to you and your god. We can only guess your heart and religious faith by the words that come out of your mouth.

    Based on the words you said, your heart and religious faith are not reflective of any religion of the Book.


  57. - Monique - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 6:31 pm:

    But did you guys listen to the clip? It’s a computerized voice like a minute before she gets on the line saying “This call may be recorded,” but she’s not on yet.


  58. - Cool Papa Bell - Monday, Sep 21, 20 @ 9:04 pm:

    I like loud and proud bigotry.

    Let’s me easily identify you.

    Keep it up.


  59. - Monique - Tuesday, Sep 22, 20 @ 2:45 pm:

    “Let’s me easily identify you.

    Keep it up.”

    Is that a threat, @Papa Bell? I was asking a question. Apparently, you also have a problem with tolerance. And grammar.


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